Simply put, body language is the unspoken element of communication that we use to reveal our feelings and emotions, mainly gestures, facial expressions and posture. Understanding these signs and knowing how to read them can be of benefit to understanding your client(s) and there Interior Design needs.
Dealing with difficult clients can be very hard and time consuming especially when trying to get a point across on a design idea or furniture that will not fit a certain space.
Know when a client is being difficult, uninterested or on the defense with your ideas or thoughts
Being aware of these signs can help you to adjust your approach to your client and put there minds at ease and be more receptive to your viewpoint. When talking to a small group the body language can be a little bit more different to just a single person or a couple. Here are some signs to look out for
If you find a person has disengaged from the conversation why not grab their attention by asking a question or contribute an idea to try and pull them back into the brainstorming or consultation.
If you looking at making a good impression then
When using positive body language, it can add strength and confidence to the verbal message or idea(s) you are trying to get across and avoid sending mixed or confusing signals.
Body parts to look at
When starting in the mornings, it best to pay attention on the hair part, usually when a person is having a stressful morning they tend to forget to run the comb through the hair, a bed head may look sexy to some but in a professional world it’s not something you want to cultivate to impress. If you have it cut or pulled to one side it shows being well groomed, let’s others know that you are in control of the way your day is developed. If you don’t have hair then your forehead can show other nonverbal cues when frowning.
The Torso Area
Holding your head high with the chest out and shoulders back projects confidence in a person, arms folded shows a person is closed off, it can also project anger for a person and being uncomfortable, so it’s best to keep this in mind when communicating your ideas. If you are standing remember to keep your hands to the side, this will show comfort in a environment.
Now moving onto the legs
Watch what the bottom half is doing
Now onto the lower limbs, when being in full view of someone else, sitting or standing you’re giving away a lot of important cues with the body language of your legs. Crossing your legs while sitting presents a closed view of yourself to others, as if you were building a fortress around yourself. Spreading them out in front of everyone sends the opposite message. You want to seem open, relaxed and comfortable, but not to the point that you look sloppy and so relaxed it looks like you about to fall asleep. Women wearing skirts should pay extra attention to what they are doing with the bottom half, wearing a short skirt can lead to feeling awkward and nervous about a wardrobe malfunction and later on anxiety will move on to the rest of the body and make you lose control which then your clients or other people will notice. When having anxiety, it can lead to an unconscious leg-shaking or foot-tapping.Your legs are the largest part of the body, so when they move, others tend to notice. You can cure yourself of these problems by crossing your legs at the ankles and folding your hands in your lap, doing the both at the same time will greatly settle your feelings while ramping up your poise factor. Tapping your toes is one way to show you in a hurry and anxious to get moving also giving a little tap with your toes says you are trying to someone’s attention and don’t want to say something wrong.
Reading your clients like a book
Eye movements and direction have subtle meanings. Some people tend to avoid eye contact at certain times usually in a uncomfortable situation or rolling eyes in disbelief. Here are some common eye messages to look out for.
When a client looks up -This tells you that the client is weighing something up emotionally or logically or maybe both, at this time its best to jump in and offer encouragement,
Blinking – Studies have shown when a person blinks to fast it shows people are under stress or being deceitful, at this time try to reduce their stress levels
Squinting – When doing this it indicates distress, disagreement or even anger. Watch for this reaction after you have said something. The person may not agree with you if followed by a head shake.Clarify for them what you mean and ask for their opinion.
Shut eyes – Covered eyes, looks downward or shuts you out by rubbing their eye, this can indicate that they do not want to confront the situation or are not happy about it.
Body movements are a strong distraction to active listening, a client who is tuning out is not ready to communicate fully with you
Be aware of these when discussing things with clients or other people, when waiting in line we tend to stand farther apart from others, for most cultures, lovers are one foot apart, one and a half for family and friends and four to twelve feet apart for strangers. Clients and people tend to observe these rules of distance and communicate respectfully. Invading a person space can signal threat or desire to confront that person, you may see this if handling complaints or dealing with a unhappy client. To defuse this situation just take a few steps back or maybe relocate that person from others to make the moment more relaxed for that person.
Head movements and Gestures
Head tilted – signals the person is unsure or not sure what you mean, take this as a chance to clarify what you are saying or trying to get across
Hand stroking chin – the person is considering something, take this chance to try and close the deal or upgrade the situation and make it more tempting, try and get them committed.
Rubbing the nose – rubbing the side of nose means the person is not telling the truth fully or is holding back information, this moment you will need to get more information or clarify on something.
Body language is a type of nonverbal communication in which physical behavior, as opposed to words, are used to express or convey information. Such behavior includes facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement, touch and the use of space
Body language is a great incentive in offering a better interior design service or getting to know your clients a lot better, keep in mind if you are a interior designer, what body language that is set out for you can also be used vice versa on your client, reading body language can help you to be a better designer or a better negotiator and maybe finalize more of your consultations and get that dream interior design proposal.